December 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Tina & Andy’s big day is just sublime. From their chic styling, to their outdoor wedding breakfast, personalised brew and simple yet special personal touches, this is a celebration that has real class.
And take a look at their randomly captured proposal video. It’s moments that this that make life amazing.
With images by Little Miss Boyco.
tina says: For our 10 year anniversary, we decided to have a big trip to celebrate – and what better way to do that than going to Vegas and Orlando! Little did I know, Andy was planning his own little surprise. In the months leading up to the holiday, Andy had spoken to my parents about his plans and had also found the perfect engagement ring, with the help of my little sister.
On the second last day of the holiday, we went to Universal Studios in Orlando for the “Cinematic Spectacular” – a light, laser, water and firework display in celebration of 100 years of Universal. At the end of the show, as we walked out with the crowds, we reminisced about our favourite parts of the holiday and how the show was the perfect way to round off the trip. As we chatted, Andy stopped and turned to me and said there was just one more thing that would make the holiday more perfect. And this is where he got down on one knee and proposed! Amongst the blur of tears and strangers clapping and cheering, I accepted!
In a crazy twist, the proposal was actually captured on video by one of the passers-by, which was posted on YouTube a couple of months later, and which Andy randomly stumbled across a few months after that!
If you would like to see the moment for yourself, take a look. It is so strange being able to watch it back but also awesome we have this memory to cherish forever!
We chose to get married at High House Farm in Northumberland as it had everything we were looking for in a venue – beautiful countryside surroundings, delicious locally sourced food, a cute little play area for the kids – and of course, the fact it’s a brewery just added to its charm (myself and Andy are both avid beer drinkers)!
We especially loved the outdoor barn and knew it would be the perfect place to have the ceremony, the wedding breakfast and the evening party. We also loved the fact there was no package to adhere to – we were allowed to choose our own food, drink, entertainment, and decorations.
The main thing we wanted was for our wedding to be as personal as possible – we wanted elements of “us” in as much as we could. It was really important that the wedding reflected us as a couple and not just a wedding package. We also wanted to keep it quite soft, rustic and romantic. In keeping with the venue, we decided to adopt a country theme – that is soft colours, floral prints, twine, and lots of candles and fairy lights.
We decided to have olive green as it is one of my favourite colours and we thought it would fit well with the country theme we wanted.
My dress was a Maggie Sottero from Wedding Essentials in Newcastle. I had an idea of the kind of dress I wanted – something soft, elegant and which was a bit different to the “typical” wedding dress. I spent several months dress-shopping and thought I had finally chosen the dress I wanted which ticked all the boxes however it cost a bit more than I had budgeted. As fate would have it, in the very last shop on my very last day of a “just-in-case-I-see-anything-else” shopping trip, I saw a replica of the dress I had my eye on – in the sale! I tried it on and knew it was the one – long, soft lace, with a low v-back with just a little touch of bling. Lucky for me as a few weeks later, the store closed down!
In keeping with the fact we wanted to have the wedding as relaxed and informal as we could, we decided not to hire or buy suits. Instead, Andy wore a suit he already had and loved – it was a navy three piece suit (jacket, waistcoat and trousers) from Burton and he teamed it with a white shirt from Next, a skinny tie in the same olive green as the bridesmaid dress and some brown brogues also from Burtons. As Andy is a big fan of comic books, he also wore Wolverine socks and handmade Wolverine cufflinks, a present I had bought him for his birthday earlier on in the year.
My little sister was the only bridesmaid – she wore a long chiffon, one-shouldered dress from Dessy in moss green form Wild Brides in Sunderland.
I saw an advert at work that a colleague made paper flowers and bouquets out of recycled materials – we thought this was really interesting and unique and so contacted her to see what she was able to do for our wedding. We found she could customise the flowers (using different materials, decorations etc) and it would also work out a lot cheaper than real flowers. Coupled with the fact me and Andy both suffer from hayfever and the flowers would be a lasting memory of the day, we jumped at the chance!
Joy from Martha Makes made us two bouquets and nine buttonholes from sheet music we had chosen ourselves. We bought cream paper from Paperchase, printed out one of our favourite songs (Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls) and had them made into flowers with pearls in the centre. We also wanted a leaf adding to the flowers to give it a bit more of a floral design – Joy had never done this before but she was happy to play around with the idea and in the end, she made them out of green gardening magazine pages – they looked amazing! Organic, personal and one of a kind!
Wiesia Bojko was our photographer for the day – we feel incredibly lucky we found her and that she was available! From our very first consultation, she came across as a very warm and friendly person – with a passion for her work and a portfolio to prove it. Our impression of her has not changed one bit even after the wedding. She was professional and friendly, and has a very natural way of capturing the special moments and little details. I would (and have!) recommended her to friends and family!
We had asked friends and family to save their glass bottles and jars for us since we got engaged, which we decorated with tea lights, twine and green and cream ribbon.
We decided to have real flowers dotted around the venue using the glass bottles and jars we had collected. I had seen online that it was possible to buy the flowers from a wholesaler and make up the displays yourself – and it would be considerably cheaper than ordering from a florist. As we wanted a soft, romantic, country theme, we decided to buy lots of baby’s breath, a few purple thistles and some light pink lilies to decorate the venue. We bought the flowers from a wholesaler in Gateshead (Premier Flowers) and me and my sisters put them into the bottles and jars the day before the wedding.
Me and Andy chose fabric for the bunting from Dainty Supplies in Washington and my sister (who is a dab hand with a sewing machine!) made them for us. We had three different types of bunting – one was made out of hessian which I painted white hearts onto using a stencil and fabric paint, one was hessian which I painted “Love Is Sweet” onto for the sweetie table, and the rest of the bunting was alternate triangles of olive green, floral and hessian. We also decorated the barn with fairy lights and lanterns from eBay.
We went through all of our photo albums and chose some of our favourite photos from our time together which we thought represented us a couple (e.g. festivals, beer and fancy dress!). We printed them off, trimmed them down to look like polaroids and wrote little captions beneath them – we pinned them onto a piece of twine with little wooden pegs and hung them from the walls.
We decided to give out beer bottles as favours as the venue was a working brewery and we knew a lot of our friends and family would love it! We went for a tasting session at the venue a few months prior and chose the beer we would use. Andy designed the label for the beer – calling it “Tandy’s Tipple” (a name our friends call us), and High House Farm printed the labels and stuck them on the bottle for us. We used the favours to double up as seating cards – I made little origami hearts using some paper I had bought in Paperchase and I learnt how to make them from a YouTube video and wrote our guests names on them and tied them to the bottles with twine.
We wanted to have cupcakes for the wedding as we felt they are more fun and informal. Andy’s sister and brother-in-law own their own restaurant and we enlisted the help of their dessert chef (Carley from Carley’s Cakes) to make us a selection of pastel-coloured cupcakes in various different flavours (e.g. cherry, chocolate, gingerbread). We also had little bride and groom cupcakes made – the bride had a veil on the top (a cutting from my very own dress!) and had iced flowers and the groom had a little top hat and a bow tie. We had bought little Mr and Mrs cake thrones for them to sit on as well!
As Andy is a DJ, we decided to choose all our own music from the ceremony to the meal to the evening. We chose a selection of songs we love, and thought were in keeping with each part of the day, and mixed them together and let them play either through speakers. We had everything from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Westlife, N-Trance to Manowar! In the evening, the best man’s father very kindly lent us his lighting and sound system so we were able to have a proper disco.
Me and my dad danced to The Carpenters “Yesterday Once More” – a song which means a lot to both of us.
Me and Andy’s first dance was to Biffy Clyro’s “Many of Horror” – which isn’t a typical first dance song but a song which we both love, invokes great memories, and which was a little more alternative.
We bought a cheap mirror from a high street store, and we wrote the seating plan for the wedding breakfast on it and displayed it during the day. On the night, we took out the mirror and used the frame as a photo prop.We had also made speech boards by ordering speech bubble shapes from eBay, and covering them with blackboard vinyl. We asked our guests to write a message on the board and pose with them in photographs.
I would recommend High House Farm to other couples who love the countryside, love good food, love good beer and the option to create the wedding they want!
It sounds cliché but I loved every single part of the day, from seeing all the guests during the ceremony, to walking up/down the aisle, to laughing/crying during the toasts, to dancing my shoes off on the night (literally – I swapped my cream lace heels for my lovely pink Converse trainers!)
If I had to choose one, I really loved seeing all our friends and family stood around us in a circle at the end of the night, singing Green Day’s “Time of Your Life”. It is a song we both love and to see the people we love singing it back to us was just amazing.
Two weeks after our wedding, we jetted off on a 4 week honeymoon around South East Asia. It was a trip we had both wanted to do all our lives. We spent 5 days in Tokyo, Japan – eating insane amounts of sushi and ramen and sightseeing, and then we went on a two week cruise which stopped at some incredible ports – we shopped in Osaka and Okinawa, we went to a hot springs resort in Taiwan, we ate fresh seafood and visited the Cu Chi tunnels in Vietnam and we ate from a hawkers market and watched the skytrees in Singapore. We then spent a week in Hong Kong – visiting family and sightseeing. It was an incredible trip and something we would love to do again!
It sounds simple but our top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make YOUR wedding what YOU want it to be. We knew from the start we wanted a wedding that reflected us and our relationship – we are so glad we didn’t just choose a wedding package on offer.
Another top tip – spreadsheets! Make spreadsheets for everything! They keep you organised and save so much stress!
December 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime
It’s Friday, and after a whole week at home with my poorly baby (who is feeling much better, thank you) I’ve got the Friday feeling and then some. Any post-work drinks will probably still be consumed in my kitchen, but if you are heading out to have some fun… I hope you have a good one.
Be inspired by Claire and Scott’s super fun day – totally done their own way – starting with an intimate ceremony for five, followed by an English tea party and finishing off with a full on festival. Via a trip to the local, of course.
I like their style.
With images by Darren Mack.
claire says: We got engaged on Valentines Day 2012. We were spending the weekend in the country and whilst out walking Scott proposed on a windy hillside in Upper Nidderdale, North Yorkshire. Apparently he didn’t really know it was going to happen!
We were married on 9th August 2014. We wanted a vintage English country garden wedding so guessed that time may be the best chance of sun. It was a beautiful sunny day.
We chose Crook Hall & Gardens, Durham as our venue. Its very close to home, and just right as soon as we walked in. Its very English and has a great view of the Cathedral, beautiful gardens and and feels like a real home, which it is. It’s an incredible sight in summer with the gardens in full bloom.
The evening reception was held at Durham Amateur Rowing Club Boathouse on the river. It’s a small friendly spot with a campsite which we needed for all our camper van mates.
We didn’t want a wedding that didn’t reflect who we are. The day had to be nobody’s but our own. It needed to feel home made because it really was. We had a private family ceremony (five guests in total), tea party reception in the afternoon with live acoustic music, our vintage VW camper, a walk through the city centre featuring a pint in the historic Victoria Inn, and then a music festival theme on the night time with Scott’s band playing the music and our friends camping in their old VWs. This all reflected who we are and what we get up to in our lives.
There was no colour scheme to speak of, but colours that reflected vintage bunting and English garden flowers. The lads all wore fuchsia pink ties and music manuscript buttonholes, but it was all very unscripted.
I wore a fitted, elegant diamond white Maggie Sottero dress (Tia), with delicate, hand-sewn jewelled details. I bought it from Poppy Bridal in Darlington. It was the very first dress I tried on, nothing compared afterwards. It made me feel like a princess and summed up the look I wanted. Michele Bailey (of Wedding Hair and Makeup North East) took care of my hair and makeup on the day – perfectly.
Scott wore a sharp blue suit from Reiss with a fuchsia pink tie and brown brogues.
Our photographer was Darren Mack, who we highly recommend. He captured the true essence of the day without being formal. He captures off guard moments with ease and is truly a nice guy to have at your wedding. Top man Daz!
I chose an English country garden-style hand tied bouquet from City Blooms in Durham. The colours reflected the season.
For our reception, we decorated using our own vintage tea pots decorated with English flowers by my Mum. We also made our own bunting on our 1950′s sewing machine, plus all the table decorations for both venues made from old tin cans and jam jars decorated with raffia, lace and twine.
We gave out jars of Scott’s homemade jam and marmalade in hand decorated paper bags.
We had a Pimms reception in the garden for afternoon guests with local real ale from the Black Paw Brewery, then full afternoon tea from Crook Hall which was stunning served on the lawn. In the evening we chose local craft ale from Anarchy Brewery, Morpeth with a classic summer BBQ and ice creams (Scott’s mate’s vintage ice cream van) to go with the music festival theme on the river.
We chose a three tier round cake, decorated with vintage bunting. Scott’s Mum made the base fruit cake, and Michelle Fortune of Frotchy’s Cakes, Great Lumley, made the top two sponges and decorated the whole cake.
In the daytime we had friends of Scott playing acoustic music in the garden, with one of my friends playing harp music through afternoon tea and Luke Howells Magician entertaining throughout.
At night we asked Scott’s mate Steve Maddison to be on DJ duty to get things moving. Then we had a ‘group dance’ with all guests dancing to The Beach Boys ‘Wouldn’t it Be Nice’. We didn’t have a ‘first dance’. Then both of Scott’s bands played (including Scott); The36s playing classic rock and Shakedown playing vintage soul and dance. The entertainment reflected who we are and probably not what was expected but it went down great.
It was a real festival feel (and we even had festival lanyards)!
On the day we walked everywhere right through centre of city attracting spontaneous rounds of applause from strangers! A one point we even popped out to the pub to meet up with more friends!
There are so many highlights, it’s hard to pick just one! Firstly, the ceremony – walking out of the hall into the garden with my Dad and seeing Scott waiting for me. Secondly, our guests arriving and the amazing afternoon tea with entertainment. Thirdly – our walk through Durham – now that turned a few heads! Fourthly, our group dance rather than a first dance – it took people by surprise. Finally, letting our hair down and enjoying the party. It was the best day of my life! I wouldn’t change a thing.
For our honeymoon we did a Pacific North West of America road trip from the super cool San Francisco, via the jaw dropping beauty of Yosemite National Park, through NorCal wine country, up the pacific coastal highway, through redwood country, into beautiful Oregon for the best craft beers on earth, fantastic white water rafting, trekking through forests, climbing snow topped mountains, experiencing the incredible city of Portland and watching live music as much as we could. All in all a truly fantastic place to journey through.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t feel you have to follow a set routine. Your wedding day should reflect your personalities. Your family and friends will understand that and your day will be all the better and more relaxed for it. Be yourself!
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November 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Designed and shot by husband and wife team Kristin & Mark (collectively Mr & Mrs W), I’ve a styled bridal treat lined up for you today! With rich colours, dramatically dark styling and texture galore, this is a decadent close to an autumnal Thursday afternoon.
Wrap up warm…
With styling and images by Mr & Mrs W.
Kristin says: Our inspiration for the shoot was in essence ‘Tweed and Country’. With tweed being seen more and more in wedding fashion, I wanted to incorporate it with the Bride as well as the Bridegroom and nothing encompasses tweed and country than a Cheshire farm shoot, in both senses of the word.
I wanted to start with outdoor pursuits and end with a debauched party and feast with a dark undertone, using antlers, feathers and the odd skull here and there.
The team we used for the shoot are local to the area. We worked together before and I knew that each supplier would provide exactly what I envisaged, which sometimes even I can’t do!
To realise my concept, the venue was always going to be Owen House as its so rustic, quirky and rural and there is nowhere quite like it in the North West.
For menswear it was no contest with the tweed experts at Whitfield and Ward being close at hand, and the beautiful wedding dresses came from The Wedding Boutique Cheshire. Fiona actually hand designs and makes her own styles so was able to make all the little extras I needed.
The shoot was such good fun. Everyone got so involved and really understood the brief. We hope that you like the results! Going forward I have another couple of shoots in mind and I might even go a bit darker next time, but in the meantime I am looking forward to creating some enchanted woodlands and a sequin extravaganza in a Tipi for some real life brides.
All the suppliers, props and styling are all available in and around the Knutsford area.
November 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This morning we join Gemma and Jim for their simple yet stunning wedding in the Yorkshire countryside. Our homecoming couple kept things plain yet interesting with delicate, handmade touches and a pretty pale colour palette for their celebration under canvas at the heart of village life.
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
Gemma says: When Jim proposed it was totally unexpected! He had insisted on taking me out for a slap up evening meal as a Christmas treat. We live in London and it had snowed all day, I was wet, cold and just wanted to make sure we could get home! The odds were against him – my mood wasn’t the warmest, and little did I know, he had called my Mum to ask her permission – to be promptly told to call back later as she was ‘in the middle of dishing up tea’! Poor fella! He took me to the Oxo Tower Restaurant on the Southbank – at which point I insisted this was far too lavish and I would prefer to have a Chinese take away and save the money! He pressed on..! During the meal he started to look a little ‘off colour’ which I later realised was because he desperately needed the toilet but couldn’t risk standing up and me seeing a square bulge in the pocket of his skinny jeans! He proposed with the most romantic words of love for me and with a standing ovation from the other dinners when I said ‘yes’ (in floods!).
We married in a small village called Hackness, North Yorkshire on 6th September 2014 – close to where our families live. Hackness has a beautiful church and wonderful countryside surroundings. It was quite tricky choosing the location as, living in London, there was a bit of a North, South divide! As luck would have it, we found a wedding blog showing a great wedding in the same village, with a Tipi reception at the village hall. We had been to our friends Tipi wedding and loved the idea of putting our own personal touches on the day. Plus we are outdoorsy people and go camping all year round – so this really suited us. It all started to fall into place!
We wanted to make everything ourselves to give our day a real personal touch – and save money of course! Romantic, rustic and simple was the theme! We didn’t want to over decorate the tipis as we thought they looked wonderful with simple sparkly lights. We tied in parts of our London life – our table plan was based on the tube map and we used Oxo Cubes (engaged in the Oxo Tower) to hold each name plate. My Mum made meters and meters of hessian table runners with a lace centre, and we had lots of glass jars and sundae dishes with candles in them, with sand from Scarborough Beach to hold them in place.
The initial colour scheme was duck egg, but the actual colour of duck egg blue is a very serious debate within our family and friends now! So we’ll just say ‘light bluey’!
My dress was from London Designer Bridal Room just off Oxford Street. I am very simple in what I wear day to day so I knew a large dress wasn’t for me…(I did have fun trying one or two on though!). I went for a simple, slinky dress which made me feel very elegant, womanly and, most of all, me!
Jim showed me quite a few pictures of David Gandy in suits…so I knew he wanted something quite fitted and trendy! We went to some amazing tailors but in the end the slim-fit style we found (as luck and budget would have it) in Red Herring at Debenhams was the one. It had a matching scoop neck waistcoat which looked perfect with his skinny French Connection tie. His shoes were from Linea at House of Fraser and shirt was a white slim fit dress shirt from TM Lewin.
The Bridesmaids and I had to do a lot of virtual shopping as they both live miles away. I came across the dresses on one of my many web searches and they both loved it! The dresses had a subtle sequin hem which tied in perfectly with my dress – from Kalico at John Lewis. The Bestman and Usher wore the same suit and tie as Jim. They were a little concerned with the ‘slim fit’ description but they both looked amazing!
For our centre pieces we ordered 100 stems of loose gypsophila from our florist, to put into the vases we had decorated for the table centres. My Mother-in-Law has done a bit of floristry so she made sure each stem was cut nice and level. We also had (my favourite) white hydrangea heads in jam jars.
Our florist at Blooms of Scarborough was so clever, I wanted a simple gypsophila bouquet but she suggested tying in a hydrangea centre to match our centre pieces. I was so pleased with the final result which was all tied together with hessian.
Our photographer was the wonderful Hayley Baxter. I have fallen in love a bit with Hayley… she is just a little genius and the nicest person to boot! We could not believe the wonderful intimate shots she managed – most of the time we had no idea she was there! Our edited pictures arrived very quickly – but we got a little sneak peek the day after via Facebook – which was such a lovely touch!
We made all the favours ourselves. I made pretty dangly earrings for all the ladies and Jim made a ‘mix tape’ of all sorts of music (some meaningful, some just fun!) for the gents. We spent many a Sunday afternoon cutting and sticking and creating. I think I loved this part a bit more than Jim… but he is a dab hand with the heart shaped hole punch now!
On each table setting we added a question card from the Logo board game, which we thought would be a nice ice breaker.
Having a tipi wedding limits your food choices to a degree but we managed to work it – I think! Well… no one went hungry! Malton Relish made all our gorgeous canapes and the vegetarian options of ‘Wild Mushroom Loaf’ and ‘Italian Vegetable Frittata’ they delivered them on the day so we didn’t have to worry about chilling them. Stepney Hill Farm provided the main meal of a Hog Roast with stuffing and apple sauce. Jim’s step father is a dab hand in the kitchen so he lovingly prepared some amazing salad accompaniments. We had lots of cheese and biscuits, wedding cake and my friend made delicious chocolate brownies for dessert. Late evening we had Pickering Fish and Chips arrive with their mobile van – which went down an absolute treat! We ran a free bar so shopped for the alcohol during various promotions in the supermarkets. Aldi was an absolute winner for spirits! We also had a hand pull real ale from Scarborough Brewery which people went crazy for!
Jim’s Mum is a wonderful baker and so she kindly baked our cake – traditional fruit on the bottom tier and lemon sponge with lemon curd and butter cream on the top tier. Her super clever friend did all the icing. We have the figurines set now and sitting on our book case – a wonderful keepsake!
We were so pleased with The Big Party Band, a 5 piece band based in Keighley. We had seen them perform at a rare public gig and knew they were good! The music was a mix of modern and dance floor classics. The real wow factor comes when the band get on the dance floor with their wireless guitars – so much fun! We paid extra to hire their kit all day to allow us to have music during the day and a PA system for the speeches. We gave them two options for our first dance and they surprised us on the day having learnt them both – so gave us a first and last dance!
We put a confetti balloon in the centre of the dance floor which was popped during our first dance – the actually popping caused lots of laughs as it just wouldn’t go!
We had these huge LOVE letters which I scrounged from Debenhams on Oxford Street – it was one of their valentines displays that they were throwing away. We underestimated how large they were which made for a bit of hilarity when trying to get them home on the tube!
Boutipi were our Tipi suppliers and they are just the best!! They are a family run business which really shows, nothing is too much trouble and they really care about giving you the best day possible! They even gave us a crash course in the Waltz the day before!
Crystal Penguin Events did our on the day coordination along with two waitresses my mum knows. I would recommend to anyone having a Tipi wedding to have someone there on the day to worry about timings etc. Steph made everything run like clock work, she also brought along some of her family to help run the bar and wash up!
Abbey Sound and Light hired our generator, we had no idea what size we would need but they worked this all out for us and plugged it all in – a real weight off our mind.
Our wedding day was truly the best day of our lives. It’s impossible to say what our one favourite moment was – but saying our vows to each other was wonderful, we were finally becoming man and wife! I messed up my lines and cried all the way through…but people said they loved that it was sincere and not polished. The three days prior to our wedding was wonderful, everyone turning up to help decorate and lift and shift… just made your heart melt. We felt so lucky to have such hard working family and friends!
We had a couple of days away after our wedding in Bruges – which was wonderful! Such a pretty and romantic place, perfect for relaxing and mooching about! We are planning our honeymoon for later next year.
I have so many tips for other Brides Up North! These types of blogs are so handy for reading about the experience of others. Having now been there, done that, I would have explored the second hand dress market a bit more, it is such a huge part of your budget and after all, most second hand dresses have only been worn once!
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October 27th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
So the clocks may have gone back drawing the darkness in that bit earlier every night but today we have a super stylish wedding full of uplifting pastel tones that is bound to brighten up your day.
Rob and Mia wanted a simple and relaxed outdoor celebration made up of pretty colour and natural, simple décor.
Despite working on a budget, the creative couple pulled their desired look off beautifully showing others that even if you haven’t got bucket loads of cash to blow you can still have a flippin gorgeous big day.
Just like Mia I’m head over heels for pretty pastels and it was her bridesmaids’ lovely lilac dresses that attracted me to the wedding in the first instance. Add to this a stunning bride, fabulous blooms and an impressive venue and you’ve got all the ingredients for an incredibly swoon-worthy wedding.
With images by EverThine Photography.
Mia says: We got engaged on our fifth anniversary of being together when we were celebrating at a spa hotel. Rob got down on one knee and proposed in the hotel room before we went out for a beautiful dinner at a restaurant overlooking the Thames.
We set the date for Saturday 16 August 2014 as we wanted to get married after I’d graduated. We choose the summer because we both wanted an outdoor ceremony.
We both grew up in Yorkshire and knew we wanted to get married back there even though we were both living in London at the time. My mum came across our venue, Saltmarshe Hall pretty quickly which was great. It’s a beautiful venue in Howden, a gorgeous stately home with lovely gardens and surrounded by countryside – it feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere, which was perfect for us. The house itself is stunning and has lots of different rooms downstairs that can be used for different things and with the gardens it gave us the freedom to do what we wanted which was an outdoor ceremony (depending on the weather). It had just been bought by new owners and opened for weddings the year before so that was very lucky for us!
We didn’t really have a theme for the wedding. We wanted to get married outside so we started by basing things around a garden ceremony, like having a simple dress and bridesmaid dresses and natural flowers. The hall itself is stunning so didn’t need much decorating, just small details and then we went with our own choices so having black tie and summer dresses for the dress code and our own choice of music and the vows and readings within the ceremony to make it personal.
I love pastel colours and decided on lilac for the bridesmaid dresses because it’s a really pretty colour. The colour scheme wasn’t strict; we just had a range of pastels because it kept with the idea of a garden wedding and suited it being in summer. The bridesmaid dresses were all slightly different shades of lilac, the flowers were creams, pale pinks and lilacs and then the table decorations were pale pink, lilac, pale blue and mint green
I had an idea in my head of what dress I wanted. Quite simple, nothing too big (as I am quite short) and with it being quite a simple ceremony in summer I wanted something suitable to that – light and comfortable. After A LOT of shopping, which was fun but got frustrating after a while, I found my dress in a shop in Beverley called Bridal Reloved. Kate there sells second hand and sample dresses, so beautiful dresses with a reduction. She was so helpful and honest about everything. I knew I wanted white/cream with some lace, and I really wanted an open/pretty back. I think the dress I chose was the perfect dress because it had all those things but was also something different that I hadn’t seen before. It was simple but still ‘wedding’ enough and had stunning details like the lace edge at the bottom and cross straps at the back. My veil was something borrowed from my oldest sister Lauren, who got married the year before me, and my shoes were cream lace peep toes from Next. For my something blue my sister India sewed a little blue tag into the inside of my dress with the wedding date and our names on the front and inside was a sixpence given to me from the lady who sold me the dress, for good luck.
Rob wore a black dinner suit from House of Fraser with a dicky bow. He also wore blue superman socks, which were a little wedding present from me.
My bridesmaids all chose their own dresses. I said I wanted lilac but wanted them to be comfortable and find something that they loved and that suited them. They were all slightly different shades of lilac and different lengths and styles that showed off their personalities and own styles. The groomsmen all hired black dinner suits from Slaters in Hull with black dicky bows.
Lucy and Nate Aspray at EverThine Photography did our photography. I would absolutely recommend them to anyone. I’ve known Lucy for a long time as she is best friends with my sister so it was lovely to have someone I knew there taking the photos. She is very talented and takes stunning photos. We asked for very natural shots of the day, wanted the small details captured and asked for a few specific shots – for example I wanted a photo of my bridesmaids and me holding the bouquets over our faces. They really made everyone feel comfortable and took great photos but without imposing. Looking back through them they captured the happiness of the day perfectly and I hardly remember most of the photos being taken!
Gill Tomkinson, a local florist/plant seller from Broomfleet, did my bouquet and the bridesmaid bouquets. I asked for natural, hand held bouquets which were lilac with some pale pinks and creams tied together with lace. She did an amazing job and did the button-holes and corsages for the wedding party which were beautiful and really suited the garden/outdoor style.
The venue flowers were by Hannah from Vintage Rose, a florist from Newport. Again I asked for lilacs, pale pinks and creams and I wanted some gypsophila and roses – the lilac roses were particularly stunning! The table flowers were in little milk bottles and there were hanging jam jars of flowers on the sides of the seats in the ceremony. The rest of the decoration was all done by me pretty much. I painted wooden numbers in pastels for the tables, and blackboard hanging hearts for the place names. Rob wanted photos of us at each of the tables so on table one there was a picture of us both at aged one, right up to table seven. We used those photos for the table plan, tea lights and photos of us as decoration around the venue, lace bunting made by my sister India and a wedding sign made by my sister Talitha and an old painted suitcase to hold our cards.
As a special touch Rob and I wrote our own vows and chose the readings from film quotes and lyrics that we loved, which made it really personal.
We enjoyed the whole day so much! It was great to see it all come together after a year-and-a-half of planning, and to share it with family and friends. I think my favourite part was the ceremony – we got to have it outside which is what we both really wanted, it was so personal to us and it was just amazing to get to marry the love of my life and my best friend.
We had little chocolate heart lollipops as favours as well as the place names, which were blackboard hearts which could be hung up by lilac lace.
Jan Harker made the wedding cake, who is my best friend’s mum. We wanted a three-layer round cake with a layer of vanilla, chocolate and fruit cake. The icing was white with a ruffled effect, there was a bow on the middle layer and white roses on the top.
Croft Kitchen provided the catering for the day. We served canapés and prosseco after the ceremony and then had a sit down dinner with three courses. For starter we had Italian meats and anti pasti, for main rosemary chicken and vegetables and for dessert mini banoffee pies (Rob’s favourite pudding).
We would definitely recommend all our suppliers including the venue. The food by Croft Kitchen was lovely, well presented and a very reasonable price. Vintage Rose and Gill Tomkinson did exactly what we wanted them to and the flowers were stunning. EverThine Photography captured the day perfectly, we are so so happy with the photographs and have had many compliments on them. Saltmarshe Hall is a beautiful venue and with the many rooms and gardens it really is left open for you to do what you want with it. The owner Kate was so great and suggested vendors and ideas but also allowed us to do what we wanted with our special day.
We went to Riviera Maya in Mexico for two weeks for our honeymoon. We both love the sun and spent a fortnight in a gorgeous hotel and laid on the beach, just relaxing after the wedding and spending time together. It was perfect.
We were on quite a tight budget with our wedding. The advice I would give to other Brides Up North would be don’t settle with what you first find. Sometimes it takes a lot of time and a lot of frustrating hours sat at a computer or on the phone to find the right thing but researching and looking is the only way to find it and it’s definitely worth it.
Personally I loved planning it and being involved, it was stressful at times but being able to make things like the table decorations was a lot of fun and I felt really proud on the wedding day when I saw everything together.
September 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
This wedding is something else. Not only is the walled summer garden setting super special, it was also hand planted by the bride and groom themselves. And if that’s not a labour of true love, I don’t know what is!
Let the love grow… this one’s bloomin’ beautiful!
Images by Graeme Oxby.
Gemma says: In July 2013 Ady planned a surprise overnight stay to Settle. The Yorkshire Dales is my favourite part of the country. It was a lovely hot sunny day when we set off for a walk in the morning. We stopped for lunch on a hill-side with a beautiful view. Ady produced a rolled up pair of gloves from his backpack, which seemed quite an odd thing to be carrying as it was such a hot day, however he pulled out a ring and proposed, we cut the walk short and went into the town to celebrate.
We said I Do at St Hybalds church, Ashby De La Launde, Lincolnshire. The church was very small making the service more intimate. There are beautiful views from the church over adjacent fields and woodlands.
Our reception was in a marquee inside a Walled Garden, in Ashby De La Launde owned by the father of the groom. Ady grew up at the venue and we both decided a long time ago we would have the reception in the walled garden, and have spent most weekends working on it to get it how we wanted. We reinstated the stone paths, rebuilt the old doors which had collapsed, planted new herbaceous borders and built the pergola in the centre of the garden, as a feature for the guests to gather around.
We wanted to be the first couple to use the garden for a wedding reception but in the future we would love to hire out the walled garden to use as a venue for events and weddings. We loved working together to get the venue right, and would enjoy doing the same for others.
We went for an English country garden style due to the nature of the venue. We mainly used items we found around the garden to decorate the marquee: Victorian terracotta pots, old fruit crates and wooden boxes planted up with plants we had grown from seed.
We felt the garden looked so vibrant and colourful that all other colours should be subtle and soft such as the pale lavender coloured bridesmaid dresses, white table linen and lilac and white flowers in the church and marquee.
I wore a Lusan Mandongus long slim fit, vintage lace ivory gown with cap sleeves and puddle train, from Limelight Occasions in Lepton, Huddersfield. It was so comfortable and lightweight when I first tried it on I thought it would be perfect for a garden reception, also the lace roses and floral motifs on the dress echoed the setting of the English country garden. I wore an Ivory and Co floral head piece with freshwater pearls, antique pieces of jewellery that were family heirlooms and other pieces that I found from antiques centres in Lincoln.
Ady wore a dark grey morning suit, with dove grey double-breasted waistcoat and dark grey cravat from Limelight Occasions.
Our bridesmaids wore pale lavender maxi dresses from Coast.
I chose hand tied country style bouquets made by Flowers by Suzanne based in Lincoln. The bouquets contained: peach David Austin roses, white dahlia, white astilby, scabious seed heads, white veronica, abliflora berries, and lavender.
We hired a 1936 Rover P2. from Ivory Vintage Wedding Car Hire, a family run enterprise based in Lincoln. The owner chauffeured the car personally from the Old Palace Hotel in Lincoln where the bridesmaids, my parents and myself got ready.
We used Graeme Oxby as our photographer. Graeme is a great photographer and would definitely recommend him. He produced amazing shots that made us very happy and emotional when we first saw them.
The flowers for table arrangements and church decorations were home grown in the walled garden. My Mum, Sue, made all the flower arrangements the day before the wedding.
The women each received a small home grown Echeveria, in a little terracotta pot which was painted and decorated by the bride. The men received a bottle of ale which was made by a local brewer (Poachers) and a friend, the couple met at university drew the caricature for the label.
Brosters Farm Shop, in Huddersfield, which is near where we live, made us six different sized tiers of pork pie, all different flavours. We then stacked it up using dowel, and decorated it with ribbon, summer fruits and herbs. We wanted to have a summery harvest festival take on the traditional wedding cake look. Also neither of us like wedding cake! The pie was a huge success and we received so many compliments from guests saying it was so good they went back for seconds and even thirds!
Entertainment wise, it was just the good old DJ, and dance floor. We gave the DJ a long list of songs which meant something to us before he arrived, and he added the rest. It was great to keep hearing songs which brought back memories for us, friends and families. We also had large wooden skittles on the lawn, as an afternoon game which we borrowed from the best man’s father.
For a minimoon we went full circle and went back to the Yorkshire Dales to stay in the same hotel where we got engaged. We went on the same walk and stopped for lunch at the same place as where we got engaged a year back. We are looking forward to our honeymoon in October, we are going to Sorrento in Italy for a week.
The best advice I could give other Brides Up North is share as much of the planning and preparation as possible – it was so much fun and really exciting. You feel extra special as a couple when you can look back on your wedding day and know you did it together.
August 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m really proud to be asked to contribute on a regular basis to some leading bridal titles both on a National and regional level and very happy to be able to share my published press with you on these pretty pages.
Today I’m hoping to put some roses in your cheeks with my spread on outdoor weddings featured in North East glossy, Unveiled Magazine.
I wrote: It may be the romantic notion of the wind in your hair and the sun on your backs, long lead times and increasing rates at traditional locations or a desire for something that feels a little more adventurous, but more and more Brides Up North are choosing to host their wedding ceremonies in the open air.
And once you’re out, why not stay out? A big white tent isn’t your only option for your wedding reception. Whilst nothing tops the glamour of a beautifully lined formal marquee for a traditional celebration, there are plenty more outdoor choices available. Think about how you want your wedding to look and feel before choosing your awnings. Consider a pretty yurt, a big top, a Scandinavian style tipi or even a Bedouin style tent for a day with a difference.
If you are thinking about taking things outdoors, here are my top tips for the perfect day whatever the weather.
If you want your ceremony to be legally binding, the venue must be a permanent structure with a roof and approved for marriage. There’s always the option of saying “I do” in a separate civil or religious ceremony but some venues have licensed areas with a roof in the grounds such as a summerhouse or a gazebo so that couples can still tie the knot in the open air. Do your homework in advance and make sure that your chosen location will result in a valid marriage certificate.
If you were hoping that removing the walls would bring the price down, think again! An outdoor reception is definitely a style, rather than budget, led choice. You’ll need to allow for the cost of any tent or covering, any venue fees for where you choose to park it and all those easily overlooked additional extras – like electricity, lighting, heating and toilet facilities – that an outdoor celebration needs to function. Ask your provider exactly what is included in the quote from the outset to avoid any nasty surprises.
Contrary to popular belief, a wedding reception outdoors can work in all seasons. The giant tipi design is inspired by the traditional tipis lived in by the Sami people of Lapland – so they’re built to withstand the weather and contain warmth. Stoke up the fire pit, artfully drape a few fur throws and you and your guests are set to party into the small hours.
Rustic or formal, weddings in the great outdoors are very adaptable. Choose to let the outside in with natural blooms for a homespun look, or go to town with glossy dance floors and twinkling backdrops. Whatever your preference, raising the roof widens rather than limits your styling options.
July 7th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
I’m all for making a wedding your own and that’s exactly what Keli and Pete did when they tied the knot (and their hands) at Windy Harbour Farm Hotel in the beautiful Peak District. The couple not only made their reception individual, but the ceremony itself too by having a secular service that reflected their journey to marriage as well as a handfasting with an elemental blessing.
The stunning outdoor setting gave way to carefree fun with the newlyweds and their guests enjoying garden games, afternoon tea and personalised beverages before burning up the dance floor in the evening.
One particular individual element that I adore about this wedding is that Pete had two best women! Breaking down yet another traditional wedding barrier, I think it’s fabulous that Pete asked those closest to him to fulfil the honourable role, regardless of their gender.
Keli said: We got engaged in the summer of 2011, the same summer we’d left our lives in London and gone travelling around England in a tent for three months. Pete and I had finally made it home, to my parents, where we would start to look for a new house and start building our new life up north.
We decided to take advantage of the last sunny day in September and go for a final walk in Castleton that included Mam Tor. Unfortunately our map reading skills were a little exhausted from the travelling all summer and we couldn’t seem to find the main path leading to the summit. So – fearful of never getting there – we turned off the beaten path and started up the side. Turns out we picked one of the steepest slopes to climb; we were exhausted and almost gave up halfway but Pete was persistent. When we got up there is was rather windy and rather crowded with people – which was not part of Pete’s plan – so we moved over the crest of the hill to sit out of the wind looking out over the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. After some lazy minutes Pete asked me to close my eyes, gave me a kiss and then produced the ring. I think my first response was “Are you sure?” And then lots of crying and laughing followed, and of course my answer, Yes!
Windy Harbour Farm Hotel was the first venue we visited and only because it was just up the road from our new home in Glossop, Derbyshire. However as soon as we walked in both of us were struck by how friendly and how right it felt. The size was perfect for the 50 to 80 guests we planned to invite and the garden area was beautifully kept, which was essential as we knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony with our mixture of pagan and secular traditions. Our country fair theme would need to include things like hay bales and garden games so we were lucky to find owners who were not only happy for us to do all this, but also happy to source things like the hay bales for us.
We both wanted a ceremony that was unique and individual to us, more so than a church or civil ceremony can be. Added to that, I’m a Pagan and was determined to get married outside, surrounded by the natural world. We found Kate Gee, a Humanist celebrant who was happy to incorporate elements of Pagan ritual into a secular service that reflected our lives and the journey that had led us to the moment of marriage. We still exchanged rings and used vows similar to those in the Common Book of Prayer. We also had a handfasting with an elemental blessing, undertaken by one of our maids of honour. Everyone commented on how poignant and moving the ceremony was and we couldn’t have been happier with the way we were able to seal our marriage.
As soon as we picked the date in May we knew we’d have a May Day themed wedding. We both love the May Day holiday and spent many years travelling to Hastings and various other places to celebrate it. So we knew we wanted lots of ribbons, greenery, games and folk music; as you would find at a May Day festival. We didn’t have a particular colour theme but we did end up using dark ivy green as the main contrasting colour. We also used a simple bright blue, yellow and red combination to accent it all – these mostly popped up as ribbons.
I wore ‘Fadella’ by Cymbeline which I found at The White Room in Sheffield. It was nothing like the dress I’d imagined myself wearing to be wed but it was the one dress that made me feel like a bride. Being light and not too bulky it made perfect sense for the venue and the outdoors, informal nature of the whole day. In the end the lace matched Pete’s country suit perfectly and the small train meant it was great to dance in.
Pete wanted something that was quite ‘countryside’ and immediately thought of a tweed jacket which he ended up getting from Next. He wore it with a grey waistcoat and brown trousers from Debenhams. His tie was also from Next. The two fathers wore the same jacket and tie as Pete but created their own combos so they didn’t all look the same.
Although untraditional Pete had best women – Zoe and Lyvia, two of our closest friends from university. The two of them and Pete were a very close trio throughout our time there and they both coached him through a lot of good times, bad times and rather mad times. They wore navy blue dresses from Next with matching taupe shoes.
I knew from the start that I didn’t want lots of bridesmaids as choosing from all my friends and family would mean all the female guests would have ended up in the wedding party. Instead I asked two of my closest friends to be maids of honour on the agreement they would be available to help out with all the wedding planning and stop me from succumbing to the dreaded Bridezilla too often in the run up to the wedding. Their dresses proved very difficult to find, especially as they both live quite far away and work a lot and we had to take into account the two best men, who were also wearing dresses. In the end we found two light summer dresses in Dorothy Perkins and they were the perfect complement to my lace dress and the best womens’ navy blue dresses.
Having good photos was vital to our day and we were keen to find a photographer who would fit in with the whole event and not feel like an outsider. We wanted mostly informal shots and pictures that took in the beautiful landscapes around us. Jon Rouston provided all that and more, giving us relaxed shots of our guests enjoying themselves as well as glimpses of the day we never would have seen otherwise. He also created some gorgeous portraits of us using a variety of local landscapes.
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February 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime
A tortoise in a tutu, heaps of lace, pearls and roses and a Real Wedding in a tipi in my home town. Thursday mornings don’t get much better than that! Today we join North East couple Kathryn and Dean for their celebration under canvas in County Durham.
With images by SDS Photography.
Kathryn says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2012. Dean had planned different scenarios on how and where he was going to propose, depending on the weather. Because it didn’t snow outside, he made it snow inside. Dean covered the living room in fake snow and played our favourite Christmas song – there was a big box in the middle of the room filled with lots of smaller boxes (like Russian dolls). I had wanted a watch for Christmas so when I got to the last box, it was quite big so I thought it was the watch, but there was nothing inside it – I looked up and Dean had big sheets of card with the words of our favourite Christmas song “All I want for Christmas is You”, after each card he dropped the cards, one by one; “Love Actually” style. After the last one he got down on one knee and pulled out a ring box with a gorgeous diamond ring in! Needless to say by this point I was in tears and obviously said yes!
We were married on 26th October 2013 at Elvet Methodist Church in Durham followed by a reception in giant tipis in a friend’s field close to Ushaw College.
We had 5 giant tipis supplied by Special Event Tipis, they were joined together to make one huge marquee style space, one of which was the bar and chill out area, and one was for the band and dance floor area, and the other 3 were the main seating area for the meal. We had over 170 guests during the day with an additional 70 in the evening.
We chose to use tipis because we fancied something a little different! My sister and I used to have a business supplying chair covers and sashes for weddings so I had been to most venues in the North East so I wanted something totally different and special!
As soon as I went the visit the tipis, I knew they were exactly what I wanted. Dean wasn’t able to see the tipis before the wedding so he was a little sceptical about the idea, he only saw them the day before the wedding when we were setting them up, but he highly approved, much to my relief.
We went for a natural and vintage feel with lots of lace & pearls. We also had a recurrent theme of logs; from a picture of a tree stump in the corner of our invitations with our initials carved in it, hollowed out tree stumps and logs filled with flowers for the table centre pieces and giant slices of bark covered tree trunk were used as cake stands for our traditional wedding cake and cheese wedding cake.
Our colour scheme was quite neutral with pale gold and ivory.
My dress was from the Wedding Wardrobe at Chester-le-Street and was a Maggie Sottero dress called Grace. It was a very pale gold satin covered in ivory lace. To make it my own, I bought a handmade vintage style necklace and bracelet and had the necklace sewed into the front of my dress under the bust and the bracelet was attached to the top of my veil. I had these removed after the wedding to keep and wear as jewellery.
I had too many close friends and sisters to choose from so decided to only have four small bridesmaids, my nieces. I got their dresses from BHS and teamed them with a cream cardigan from John Lewis. The dresses were pale gold satin with a lace bodice, they matched my dress perfectly!
The men wore dark navy, 3 piece suits which we bought from Next (it proved quite difficult as the men live all over the country) with a white shirt and vintage gold patterned tie form M&S. I also had my nephew as a page boy who wore a navy suit form Monsoon and we had one of the mens’ ties made smaller to fit him.
I had a beautiful bouquet which had white avalanche roses, Roralie roses which were a pale peach/cream colour, talea roses which were a vintage peach/champagne colour, spray snowflake roses, white hydrangea and wax flowers and we also added old brooches which I had collected from antiques fairs and strings of pearls to keep the vintage theme going. All our flowers were by Country Style at Langley Park.
We travelled in a cream VW split screen Campervan from Lovedub Cars called Chaz – he was beautiful.
December 31st, 2013 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.
Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013. Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.
My god, Helen and Jamie’s wedding day looks like fun. This is one of those features – put together in the early hours of the morning (or the late hours of the night, whichever way you want to look at it) that makes me want to shut down the laptop, pick up those dancing shoes and a bottle of something cold and head off to party till dawn.
Bright, vibrant, individual and full of fun, I hope that this gorgeous Real Wedding spreads a little sunshine your way. Just watch out for dragons…
With images by Mike at One Wedding.
Helen says: We got engaged in June 2011, in Hong Kong. We were living in a city called Zhuhai in mainland China at the time and Jamie whisked me away to Hong Kong as a surprise to celebrate 9 years since our 1st date. Despite a typhoon and last minute customs issues with the ring J’s plan came together!
We were married on 6th July 2013 in the gardens of Woodthorpe Hall in Derbyshire The ceremony took place in the cider press and the reception outside and in a marquee on the lawn.
We chose the venue because of it’s stunning location. We were showed round by the house owner Dick and he was so friendly and his wife Sue was brilliant. We had the freedom to choose anything we liked, bringing in our own suppliers and spend the week before customising the whole place.
Our theme was a hint of China! We lived in China for almost four years and got engaged in Hong Kong so there were a few nods to that part of our lives. We brought back all sorts of lanterns and flags for decorations and filled the fridges with Tsingtao beer (from the city where we lived). Our first dance was a Chinese pop song. Our colours were lucky Chinese red and white.
My dress came from a shop in Manchester, I was after something a bit different and once I saw it I knew I’d found the right one. It was a bit of an ordeal because I had sorted something from China that didn’t work out in the end so it was quite a last minute find but it was all ok in the end!
I had one bridesmaid; Jamie’s sister Em. She looked stunning in a red dress made for her in China. She sent us some pictures of the style she liked and we chose the material and had it made. My other best mates all wore something with a touch of red and we all carried red or white parasols. Jamie and the groomsmen wore the same suit they found on a shopping outing together. The teamed it up with waistcoats/ties to suit their own style.
We originally wanted red and white orchids in our bouquets but it was such a hot week that the florist, Jo Price, called and said they wouldn’t last the day so we added in roses.
The ceremony was in the same place as the reception so we didn’t have any transport between the two. I travelled in style with my Dad whose car my bro polished to perfection. We had a great moment with the top down and the music playing going down the country lanes.
A really special moment was when three friends sang a song during the ceremony. A school friend, uni friend and neighbour got together for the first time the morning of the wedding and by the afternoon were playing beautifully during the ceremony!
A highlight of the day was the arrival of the Sheffield Chinese Lion Dance Troupe just after the meal. Jamie and I had arranged for this to be a total surprise so everybody was shocked and excited. Brilliant!
Thanks to the help of friends and family we personalised the tables and marquee. We glued photos of us with friends and family onto red ribbon to make bunting and string it around the marquee. There were photos of every guest as well as friends who couldn’t make it everywhere.
We used beer bottles from around the world as table markers and a friend did calligraphy for names. The table centres were flower arrangements made by Jamie’s Mum and friends teamed up with some Chinese fans. We brought back some Chinese bracelets which we used as napkin rings for the guests to keep. Instead of favours we put a pound coin in a Chinese box and told guest to choose a pot labelled for three different charities. People added some extra coins and we raised over £300.
Dick and Sue at Woodthorpe Hall were fantastic. They were so hands on and helpful. The guests said they felt very well looked after. They only do a handful of weddings a year so it felt very personal.
We hired a Marquee from Ascot Marquees. ‘Marquee Mark’ helped us hang lanterns and red bunting (expertly made by my Mum!) and the place looked great. A friend from Totally Gazeboed contributed gazebos for the string quartet and a photo booth. We raided the attic for some props and got some hilarious shots.
We brought in our own booze and homemade canapés. Jamie used to live in Germany so the last time he went to visit his friends there he filled up the car with mini kegs of German beer which we placed around the garden for people to help themselves to. PJ Taste provided the main food. Wonderful! We had BBQ steak, swordfish and veg with lots of lovely salads. Highly recommended. Our friends from Cocoa Wonderland sorted us out with some yummy chocs.
My mum baked fruit cake for the three tiers and iced them white then the week before the wedding my friends came over to help decorate. Kat and Sarah made sugar paste flowers and James helped stack the tiers and add the ribbon. We also had friends bake cakes to bring along so we had lots to choose
For the evening dancing we played our favourite tunes and friends and brothers helped to DJ. We also had a fab impromptu ukulele song by Geoff who got everyone singing along.
I have so many favourite parts to the day! Standing there with Jamie at the ceremony. Seeing all our different friends and family all together having fun. The speeches. People’s reaction to the Lion Dance. Having a moment with Jamie taking it all in looking over the moors. The first dance and the dancing to Design for Life with my Dad and friends. Everything was so positive and lovely.
After the wedding we honeymooned at a music festival in Lisbon (including seeing Biffy Clyro whose music we used during our ceremony) and spent some time on the Portuguese coast.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to add lots of little things to make the day feel yours and don’t get too worried what other people do for their weddings. The day is very personal, there are a lot of extras that you don’t always need. Include things that reflect you!
Congratulations Helen & Jamie!
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